The adage, “if you want peace, prepare for war” – to wit, a country well armed and strong is less likely to be attacked by its opponent – has motivated the Southern Command of the Ghana Army to roll out a series of training exercises for the year 2018.
The brigade, under the leadership of Brigadier-General (Brig-Gen) Thomas Oppong-Peprah, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), who also acts as the Exercise Director, has kickstarted its training schedules with EXERCISE KULLUM SHIRRI 2018, which is also known as the Inter-Units March And Shoot Competition on Wednesday, 14th February, 2018.
The brigade has 9 units under its command namely; Camp Headquarters (Team Tarantula), Kpeshie, 1 Battalion of Infantry (1BN), Michel Camp, Tema, 2 Battalion of Infantry (2BN), Apremdo, Takoradi, 5 Battalion of Infantry (5BN), Burma Camp, Accra, Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment (Recce), Burma Camp, 66 Artillery Regiment, Ho, 48 Engineer Regiment, Teshie and 64 Infantry Regiment (Special Forces) and 1 Field Workshop.
These units each presented a platoon (an officer and 35 soldiers – including a minimum of 4 ladies), to participate in the training competition which was designed to test endurance, mental toughness, marksmanship application on personal rifle, esprit de corps and sharpen physical and tactical skills of the soldier.
The exercise started at the new Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) cemetery around the Airport Hills general area, where each platoon was briefed and then started with navigation towards obstacle crossings at the Military Academy and Training Schools and then to the Teshie Gallery Range, where 9 soldiers went with their officer team-leaders to the shooting range to test their marksmanship in the falling plates competition.
Additionally, Exercise Kullum Shirri 2018 was also intended to send a clear assurance to the general public that GAF is well poised at responding appropriately and effectively to real and potential threats to Ghana.
The Guest-of-Honour for the exercise, Brig Gen Abraham Yeboah Nsiah, Chief Staff Officer (CSO), Army Headquarters, was full of praises for the brigade authorities and admonished the soldiers to uphold the lessons of the exercise.
He added “I urge all to strive to maintain fitness always, for an armed forces without discipline and training, is simply a mob”, as he additionally defined discipline as the moral, mental and physical state in which all ranks respond to the will of their commander, whether he is present or absent.
The GOC called on all officers and soldiers under his command to deliver their utmost best and not to hide but keep in memory that those who did extremely well last year, were adequately rewarded with travel trips this year and that, same policy is being maintained.
The Brigade Commander also said that Ex Kullum Shirri is built up on Ex Starlight Stretch 2017 and others lined up will also build up on Ex Kullum Shirri, as the year unfolds.
The competition produced the following results; 8th Position with 530 points (1 hour 47 minutes) – 66 Artillery, 7th Position with 530 points (1 hour 40 minutes) – 1BN, 6th Position with 530 points (1 hour 32 minutes) – 64, 5th Position with 568 points – 48 Engineer Regiment, 4th Position with 570 points – 1BN.
3rd Position with 665 points (awarded with a certificate, trophy and ¢1,500) went to 2BN, 2nd Position with 678 points (awarded with a certificate, trophy and ¢3,000) went to Recce Reg whiles the ultimate prize of a certificate, a giant trophy and ¢5,000, went to home team, Team Tarantula (made up of personnel from Camp Headquarters and 1 Field Workshop.
Ex Kullum Shirri 2018 resource persons included the following, Colonel GKT Sam, Command Operations Officer (COO) who was also the Exercise Controller, Major Martin Dziedzorm Dey (aka War Commander), Command Exercise Coordinator, and the Commanding Officers of 8 the Units, amongst many.
By Kofi Ampeah-Woode, Kpeshie